Nürnberg, W. Endter 1647.
Oblong 16mo (84 x 143 mm.). [ii], engraved title, [lxxxiv], 231, p. PRINTED MUSIC, THIRTY-THREE FULL-PAGE ENGRAVINGS BY THE AUTHOR INCLUDING EMBLEMS, LANDSCAPES, ARMS AND TWO PORTRAITS (one cut by Peter Troschel), FIVE ENGRAVED TEXT ILLUSTRATIONS WITH THIRTEEN EMBLEMS, engraved title, text woodcut of a date made of bones, title in red and black.
Slightly later marbled paper over thick pressed paper boards (worn), early manuscript-lettered paper spine label.
ONLY EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, OF THE FIRST HISTORY OF THE FIRST AND MOST FAMOUS GERMAN LITERARY SOCIETY — its statutes, aims, activities, members (academy name, plant emblem, motto) and their published works. In 1617, with the Accademia della Crusca as his model, Prince Ludwig of Anhalt-Köthen established the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft to raise German to a true literary language. He “initiated the members, gave them the insignia of the society in the shape of a medallion hung around the neck, assigned to them the new characteristic names, and immortalized each new member with a picture and a stanza in the society’s manual” (Faber du Faur). Inducted in 1637, Hille puts prose, verse, songs, proverbs, chronograms, allegories, heraldry and emblems to his purpose along with contributions by fellow members Harsdörffer and Moscherosch. He incorporated English, French, Italian and Latin into his narrative and HILLE DESIGNED AND ENGRAVED ALL BUT ONE OF THE ILLUSTRATIONS HIMSELF.
Many of the incidental ornament is peculiar to this emblem book. For instance, some initials incorporate the society’s device (a palm tree), others the palm fruit (coconuts), others still show shaking hands (the medieval German symbol for friendship, here introducing a poem on members’ ties to one another) and a printing press tailpiece. There are reference to the New World, Columbus, America and the West Indies. A good copy (slightly browned, one musical note shaved).
¶Praz, Studies in 17th-Century Imagery 342; Landwehr, German Emblem Books 342; Höpel, “Das mehrständige Emblem…eines seltenen Emblemtyps” in The Emblem in Renaissance and Baroque Europe…Conference 13-17 August, 1990 (1992) 104-17 esp. 107 & n. 18; Faber du Faur, German Baroque Literature 167; Dünnhaupt, Personalbibliographie des Barock 3: 2090,4; Bircher, Im Garten der Palme…mit Beigabe eines Ausstellungskataloges 457; Im Garten der Palme…die Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft und ihre Zeit 55,III.5 & reprod.; Hirsch & Meyer, Katalog der Musikbibliothek Paul Hirsch III: 822 (def.); Alden, European Americana 647/79; VD17 12:652735R.